January 11th, 2012 | Sports

Yale about to name head football coach, sources say

Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

For the second time this week, Yale could be close to naming its next head football coach.

A source involved with the search process said that the University could make the decision as soon as tonight, with Harvard assistant coach Tony Reno and Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini as the favorites to fill the vacancy. Another confirmed that the official announcement will likely to take place on Friday.

Earlier in the week, UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown withdrew his name from consideration after reportedly being offered the job. With Brown no longer available, the search committee turned to Reno and Cecchini, who were interviewed earlier this month. Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly was also interviewed.

Cecchini oversaw a high-octane Lehigh offense that ranked third in the Football Championship Subdivision in total offense, averaging 469.6 yards per game. He also directed Harvard’s offense from 2003 through 2006 and his 2004 squad posted a perfect 10–0 record, winning the Ancient Eight and leading the league in every major offensive statistics.

Reno, however, may be on the inside track for the vacant spot. He spent six seasons at Yale and became the assistant head coach in 2007 after working with the secondary for five seasons. In 2007 and 2008, Yale’s passing defense ranked third in the nation. For the last three seasons, Reno has been the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator for Harvard. This past season, the Crimson ranked first in the Ivy League in terms of pass defense efficiency.

  • observer

    Glad to see the YDN finally on top of this saga. Hopefully Yale will come up with a coaching candidate cheap enough to gain President Levin’s approval.

  • observer

    Cecchini to be named Yale football coach tomorrow

    Yale has scheduled a press conference for Thursday at 4 p.m. to announce that Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini will be named the 34th Yale football coach according to sources close to the search.

    Cecchini was the offensive coordinator at Harvard from 2003-06 before heading to his alma mater where he led a high-powered Lehigh offense which at one time led all Football Championship Subdivision teams in total offense.

    Cecchini is a well-respective offensive play caller who calls NFL players Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard) and Andre Roberts (Citadel) among his former pupils.

    Cecchini led a Harvard offense that average 33.9 points and 414.2 yards per game in the 2004 season.

    As a senior at Lehigh in 1993, Cecchini set school record with 88 receptions, 1,318 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches.

  • observer

    CANCEL PREVIOUS MESSAGE! (per the New Haven Register)

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    Tony Reno to be Yale’s next coach

    OK, let’s try this again.

    I got burned in a big-time way from a source who confirmed Dave Cecchini to be Yale’s next football coach. However, I apologize for putting that out there before I was able to get a secondary confirmation. That same source got back to me to inform me that he was messed up and that it is indeed Tony Reno who will be named head coach.

    I apologize to all who trust me and this blog to be the source of accurate information on all things to do with Yale football. You learn to trust your sources and there are times when wires get crossed. I still accept the full brunt of the blame on this. Instead of rushing to get this info out there, I should have held back until I was 100 percent certain of the facts.

    Now onto the choice.

    Reno was the secondary coach at Yale on Jack Siedlecki’s staff. When Siedlecki was forced out, Reno assumed the lead on Yale’s recruiting efforts. He would leave to join Tim Murphy’s staff at Harvard in large part for family considerations because he, his wife and children live in Sturbidge, Mass.

    Reno was a popular coach with his players and in the days following Siedlecki’s departure, he was touted as the coach staff as being the top prospect to be considered for the Yale head job.

    There are some alumni who have issues with the way Reno left for Harvard and some have suggested that he took some recruits with him. However, Reno received a lot of support in the Yale community – especially from his former players to get the job. If I were to go back and count the blog comments, I would think that Reno would have been the winner of that informal straw poll.

    One concern is that Reno has never been an offensive or defensive coordinator above the Division III level but I personally really liked dealing with him in the time when he was on Siedlecki’s staff.

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